WeChat is the messaging app that’s more like a mobile OS

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China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Now that I use WeChat, I don’t need much else when it comes to social media apps. In fact, WeChat has almost entirely replaced text messaging in China. I am able to link up with other WeChat users through their username without providing a telephone number, so it is a great platform for communicating with new acquaintances or people I am working with.

I have hundreds of WeChat contacts, but only a handful of telephone numbers in my iPhone. The app also recently introduced group video messaging and has an extensive WeChat Wallet service (similar to Zhifubao) available to Chinese bank account holders.

Grammar haters score a win in text-messaging study

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Text messages punctuation
You aren't helping, Lindsay.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

I try to maintain grammatical integrity no matter what I’m typing. But a new study suggests that people may not appreciate that while text messaging, and it’s not just because they think I’m showing off how much gooder I can word.

The researchers concluded that texts that end in proper and correct periods come off as insincere.

Peek’s disappearing texts offer Snapchat-style privacy

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peek

High-school senior Omar Martin Del Campo and his small team of developers have found a way to make text messaging even more secure. Peek lets you chat with friends via the app and your messages are erased as you read them.

The app asks you to authenticate with Twitter or Facebook to ensure your identity to your friends, and then you can chat away in the fairly clean, purple-themed interface on offer.

“Our focus,” said Del Campo in an email with Cult of Mac, “is a great user experience, beautiful design, simplicity and safe and secure messaging.”